A $22 million workforce housing complex in Pevely, Mo., was just one month away from completion and two weeks away from turning on its fire sprinklers when a blaze broke out in late January. The eighth and final building was heavily damaged, forcing developer Gundaker Commercial Group to completely rebuild 28 of the 42 units after waiting on a lengthy arson investigation that never uncovered a culprit.
“We were 98 percent finished,” says Greg Lee, senior vice president of Chesterfield, Mo.-based Gundaker. “Everything was destroyed. We had to rebuild 28 units from scratch.”
Eight months later, the 256-unit project, Pevely Pointe Apartments, is now complete on 45 acres visible from Interstate 55. The project, a public/private partnership with the Missouri Housing Development Commission, consists of one-, two-, and three-bedroom units. It also features a pool, fitness area, and clubhouse that provides community children with a venue for multiple after-school programs.
“The after-school learning center gives Johnny a place to stay after school during the 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. witching hours when the parents are still at work, and kids can get into trouble,” Lee says.
The project was designed by the St. Louis-based firm Rosemann & Associates, which maximized square footage by keeping each apartment simple, says Andrew Koenig, a project architect at Rosemann. “We tried to keep the design efficient,” he says. “We included elements like short hallways that give the developer and the renters the most bang for their buck.”
Even before the fire, Pevely Pointe had its challenges. Namely, the steep, 50-foot drop in elevation and subpar soil qualities that resulted in the need for more site preparation. But on both fronts, Gundaker persevered.
Units at the community range from 763 square feet to 1,190 square feet with rents between $540 and $775 per month. And don’t worry, the fire sprinklers are activated.